Lesotho stand in the way of Kenya making it to the group stage of 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
The two teams meet at Nyayo Stadium this afternoon with the hosts under pressure to overturn a 1-0 goal deficit suffered in first leg a fortnight ago in Maseru.
For Kenya, there are no two ways about this match; either they win by two clear goals or risk being locked out of international football for another two years.
Stand-in coach James Nandwa has the headache of coming up with a lethal striking force that will do the job for him. In the absence of top striker Dennis Oliech, the work of getting goals has just become too difficult for the home team.
Though vilified for his indiscipline, Oliech would have added a lot of value to this squad even just by his presence.
However, in his absence, El-Mereikh forward Allan Wanga must step up and get the goals. Wanga has scored twice since joining the Sudanese side, something which should give him motivation to score more.
Nandwa can always count on an experienced midfield packed with the likes of Victor Wanyama, Peter Opiyo and MacDonald Mariga.
The back-line looks stable under David Ochieng, David Owino and Aboud Omar, who boasts of some great over-lapping skills. Lesotho can afford to sit back and try to beat their opponents on counters, making them a very dangerous opponent.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Kenya Football (FKF) president Sam Nyamweya last week paid all the players’ outstanding allowances, boosting their confidence as they go into today’s qualifier.
“This is testament to our commitment to ensure that you are ready for the match and that you (the players) are focused on the match,” said Nyamweya as he handed over the cash to the team at their Kasarani base.
“The game is much more important than the money we have received,” said veteran Jamal Mohammed as he thanked FKF for the gesture.
“This has never happened before this team came into office because I’ve always seen players leave without their allowances being settled but I thank the current leadership for this.
“Winning (against Lesotho) on Sunday and going to the group stage will open new avenues for most of us, especially the younger members of the team.”
Saudi Arabia-based David Ochieng added this was evidence that everyone was playing their part and with the federation doing its bit, it was now up to the team to do the job.
“This is a great show that the federation is working hard to play its role, just like the players are working hard on their training in preparation for the match.”
Coach Adel Amrouche, though suspended for the match, exuded confidence in the team’s ability to perform in his absence.
“I have no doubt that we can focus and come out with victory on Sunday, especially now that the president of the federation has done this for you.”
“I have travelled widely but I have not seen a president like the one you have here. And I haven’t seen a Head of State like the President of the Republic of Kenya,” added the coach, who expressed gratitude for the support the federation has offered him following his suspension by Caf.